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E&C Republican on "some good parts of the IRA"

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Apr 15, 2024
Congressman Buddy Carter talks to Axios Pro reporter Jael Holzman at an Axios event

Photo: Hector Emanuel/Axios

Buddy Carter, a key GOP leader on the E&C committee, said he likes parts of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Why it matters: Carter is going to be deeply influential in Republicans' handling of the new climate law should his party keep the House after this year's elections.

Driving the news: There were "some good parts of the IRA," Carter told Axios at a rooftop event on Thursday, and he wishes he "could have picked and choosed" parts of the law to vote yes on when it was moving through Congress.

  • Carter wants a "market-driven and consumer-driven" approach to policy dealing with climate change. "I know there are people within our conference who are climate deniers … I'm not one of them."
  • But while he'd rather the market decide the pace of decarbonization, Carter acknowledged that may not be possible when it comes to countering China — a country heavily subsidizing industries in electrification, EVs and renewables.

What they're saying: "I didn't vote for the IRA, but that was an omnibus bill."

  • Carter added that if he could have said, "'Hey, I like this, I like this, I do not like this, I hate this,' then I would have done that."
  • He didn't specify which specific IRA programs he likes more than others — though for any health care readers out there, he did say he hates the drug pricing provisions.

Zoom in: Carter's home state of Georgia has benefited from a boom in battery and renewables manufacturing, so it's no wonder he's warming up to some IRA programs.

  • This has impacted GOP oversight of Biden's climate policy, as we explained in our scoopy story on Thursday about Republicans' EV bus investigation.
  • "We've been the beneficiary both in the state of Georgia and in my district of what is happening here with electric vehicles," he told Axios.

Yes, but: Carter sounded bearish on anything substantive being done on energy policy the rest of this Congress on permitting or other priorities.

  • He pointed to the razor-thin GOP margin in the House.
  • "People are asking me, 'Are y'all going to come back into the majority in the House next year?' [And] I'm thinking to myself, 'I'm not sure we're going to keep it this year.'"
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